NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has announced that Virgin Care will be providing community health services and urgent care services in West Lancashire from 1 May 2017.
Following a stringent procurement process which adheres to national guidance, the local healthcare commissioner has evaluated and moderated bids received and have selected the successful provider.
Local residents can be assured that all services commissioned within this process will continue to be delivered as part of the NHS and will remain free at the point of contact.
Through thorough engagement with the local community and clinical staff, the CCG has heard several views from local people about the current system and based on these views is striving to make improvements through this procurement. The CCG’s vision for joined up care, known as Building for the Future, aims to help everyone – especially the older population and those living with long-term conditions – be in more control of their own health, have better access to health services and receive co-ordinated support tailored to their own personal needs.
Claire Heneghan, chief nurse of NHS West Lancashire CCG, said:
“This process is about transforming care locally and is a major positive step forward for West Lancashire. The aim is to develop and enhance community and local walk-in and out of hour’s services, helping to prevent avoidable acute hospital attendance, relieving pressure on such a vital resource. We will continue to enable and support the local hospital to do what it does best, in addressing the needs of those residents who need acute and specialist care. Our local hospital will continue to be a major part of local health services and will remain integral as we move towards achieving our vision for joined up care”.
Dr John Caine, chair of the CCG, added:
“We are pleased to announce that Virgin Care has been successful in this process. Through the bid Virgin Care demonstrated a true understanding of our vision and we are assured it will deliver a quality service for our local community within this new model of care. Virgin Care will now work closely with the existing provider Southport & Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust in the run up to delivering the services from 1 May 2017. The CCG and Virgin Care will also be talking to the local community about their plans and welcoming views during this next phase of the process”.
“Although this is a change in the provider, patients will still receive safe, quality treatment and care during this period of transition”.
A spokesperson for Virgin Care said:
“We are really pleased to have been selected to deliver the local vision for urgent and community care across West Lancashire. We look forward to continuing our engagement with the local community so we can provide a high quality service that has been shaped by the people who use it”.
Dr Caine continues: “Although Virgin Care is an independent sector provider, these services commissioned within this process will continue to be delivered as part of the NHS and will remain free for local people.
“Finally, I would like to thank the local community and urgent care staff, our local community and our other key partners and stakeholders for their ongoing support for this process, and for the views they have shared.”
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Examples of community health services services/roles are district nurses, community matrons, dieticians, occupational therapists, continence service, treatment room clinics, IV therapy and end of life teams. By urgent care services, we mean the Acute Visiting Service, GP out of hours and walk-in centres.